Why Do We Have Wars?
I heard it said once that when resources don’t cross borders armies cross borders. I think at the root of that is the attacker’s concern for survival or greed (hyper-survival?). Germany got uppity before world war one and tried to build empire, as was the fashion in those days. Then it was beaten down hard, and tried to regain it’s sense of pride and worth by building another empire, at the same time finding someone else (the Jews) to beat down in place of the Germans. The resource was sense of self, sense of worth. The Sudeten lands were German-populated lands that Germany took, then they took Austria, which was pretty much all German. “Hmm. This is working. Let’s take more.” And so greed took over because they never healed their sense of self and it turned into self-aggrandizement. It ended when they were defeated and realized it was better to be a friendly part of the world than tyrant on top of it.
The American civil war was a war against injustice and for humanity. The resource was human dignity, and slavery was polluting the American sense of dignity for those against slavery. The South was heavily invested in slavery economically and as you can imagine that would be very very hard to give up even on a practical, voluntary basis, plus they thought blacks were subhuman. Not a very promising society. And when the south tried to secede it was a serious threat to the overall safety and strength of the US, the north in particular, so war broke out to preserve the union and eliminate the shame of slavery. If the US had been successfully split the north would have been vulnerable to Britain and others, plus would lose the economic and material resources of the South’s agriculture and industry.
In Iraq Saddam Hussein was a badly socialized megalomaniac trying to win “friends” and respect (resources) by force. He was seen as a threat to our own resources in the form of oil and the Bush(es) attacked back to defend that as well as make money off the war. War can also be very profitable. World war two rebuild the American economy, pulling it out of the depression. The Iraq war was rather different in its economic effect because it was not founded wholly on virtue but largely on lies and greed. So the result was a huge American deficit rather than economic strength. Plus it created millions of more Muslims hating the USA.
Negative aggressors like the old time Germans and Saddam attack because they don’t know their own worth and the worth of community, they don’t believe they are really likeable so they force the resources – including “respect” – they would get in friendship from their victims. Positive aggressors/avengers like the anti-slavery, pro-unity forces attacked to eliminate the enemies that were inhumanity and overall increased vulnerabilities mentioned above.
And individuals attack individuals with negative attitudes, words or actions because they don’t know how to build resource fulfilling relationships/friendships, not seeing themselves as worthy and likeable/lovable, or others the same. To be liked you have to be likable. To be respected you have to be respectable. What goes around comes around. Harp on the faults of others and yourself and that’s like bad press. Nobody wants to be around that, nobody can get past it and no amount of complaint about how nobody likes you will get them to like you. But define yourself as worthy – full of worth – and forgive others their faults and so will you be seen as a worthy friend/associate. People love to be loved, and love those who do it.
It’s observable that nothing is so attractive as confidence. Women love it in men. People love it in people. Confidence is essentially valuing and standing behind yourself, in your own light and truth. Strength built on a healthy sense of self is very attractive. Force, which is always founded on a weak sense of self and of society, is very repulsive. This is one of the essential lessons of life.
In essence, the real war is the war against self. The resources are love, respect, forgiveness, peace. When you won’t give them to others they see you as a threat. When you won’t give them to yourself you are a threat to yourself.
In Tolkien’s work the Lord of the Rings the West Gate of the kingdom of Moria was inscribed with the words ‘Speak “Friend” and Enter”. Only those who declared themselves friends were able to open the magical doors to the Kingdom within the mountain. Open up the doors of the heart to yourself and all – truly – and find no enemies crossing your borders.